How To Drive Safely During A Storm

Stay Safe During Storm Brendan

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With Storm Brendan forecast to make landfall tomorrow morning, Chill Insurance would like to advise all road users to exercise caution while out on the roads. We advise motorists to closely monitor weather conditions and to check local radio stations for updates.

Storm Brendan is set to bring high winds which may gust to between 100 and 120km/h. An Orange Wind Warning has been issued by Met Éireann as the serious conditions may pose a threat to life and property.

Driving during an Orange Wind Warning is extremely hazardous and the general advice is stay put and leave the car at home. However, if you need to make an essential journey, please be mindful of the following tips and advice.

Driving During High Winds

If you need to travel out on an essential journey, we recommend that you check local traffic and weather conditions. Plan your journey and give yourself extra time. Twitter is often a great source for real-time information.

Here are top things to consider when driving during high winds.

  • Check your route on Google Maps before heading out. You will be able to see if there are any delays on your route and it may help you to decide if you should start or abandon your journey.
  • Be prepared for the worst. Have enough provisions in case your travel is disrupted. We recommend to have warm clothes, a fully charged phone and enough water and snacks.
  • Beware of cross winds. You need to exercise extra caution on exposed routes such as dual carriageways, motorways, tunnels, overpasses and bridges. Cross winds can be very strong so keep both hands firmly on the wheel.
  • Reduce your speed. You may need to react quickly if debris/branches are blown onto the road or if your car is blown off course by strong gusts.
  • Increase braking distance and expect the un-expected. Be mindful of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists who are more exposed to the elements. Give extra space to cyclists when overtaking.
  • Light up during the day time and drive with dipped headlights. Turning on the lights will help with visibility and ensure that other vehicles can see you.
  • Trucks, vans, cars towing caravans/trailer and other high sided vehicles are at a higher risk of losing control in high winds. Keep your distance from larger vehicles.
  • Follow diversion routes where roads have been closed.
  • Beware of trees which might fall especially in densely populated areas. Trees are also at risk of falling in the days after a storm.
  • When parking, pick a safe spot away from trees, buildings, overhead lines or other structures which could pose a risk to you and your vehicle in high winds.

Breakdown Assistance

If your car breaks down during a storm and you need to avail of your breakdown assistance cover, you will find the breakdown number for your insurer by clicking link above.

Coming Across Fallen Trees Or Power Lines

Should you come across fallen trees or significant debris, please contact your local County Council or Garda Station. Many of the local councils across the country will be operating emergency lines during storm conditions.

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High winds can also cause damage to overhead power lines which can break or fall. Call ESB Networks on 1800 372 999 if you come across fallen electricity lines or damaged poles. Keep yourself and others back and never attempt to drive over fallen power lines.

Pull Over If Required

If the weather conditions become too difficult, it is best to pull over safely and continue when you feel you are ready and rested. If you have the opportunity and are no longer driving, it may be a good idea to call a family member or friend and let them know that you have stopped for a little while.

We hope that you have found this blog useful. Storm Brendan will be bringing strong winds to Ireland over the coming hours and the safest thing is to not travel.

Looking for advice to prepare your home in advance of the high winds? Take a look at our related blogs on preparing for a storm outage and protecting your home from severe winds.